Parish Pump, Hailsham - January 11, 2013

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ALFRISTON IS OPEN: We have had signs at both ends of the village saying Road Closed. The main road through the village, past the Willows car park, has been flooded and at times impassable. The shops, restaurants and pubs however have all been open and it has been possible all the time to enter the village from the Seaford end. We rely, and of course look forward, to your visits. However, there will be further disruption during the replacement of the sewers/main drainage in the High Street. Details of village access will be posted on the village website www.alfriston and in this column.

COSMOFIL FILM CLUB will be showing La Cage aux Folles directed in 1978 by Edouard Molinaro. It will be in French with English subtitles. The film is based on a play by Jean Poiret and was successfully received by both critics and viewers alike. The performance at the War Memorial Hall will open at 7pm for a 7.30pm start on January 18.

CAPTAIN HOOK’S REVENGE by Richard Coleman will be performed by the Alfriston Players at the War Memorial Hall on January 25 at 7.30pm, and January 26 at 2pm and 7.30pm. Tickets are on sale now at Hicks, The Newsagents. This pantomime features a host of villainous pirates, Red Indians, rats and a crocodile, as well as many other notorious characters. Who can resist?

IT’S TIME TO GET FIT: There are 11 forms of exercise held in the village. Pilates, bell ringing, singing, line dancing, yoga, short mat bowling, tai chi and chair exercises are all run by experienced teachers. For less formal exercise there is the Cuckmere Meanderers, a friendly group of regular walkers and of course there is the Alfriston Cricketers. There is, therefore absolutely no need for any of us to be unfit. It is difficult to get motivated to go out when the rain has been so unforgiving but it is resolution time and there is no question that exercise does make one feel better.

PROSPEROS PROJECT is the annual fundraising event run by Cate Olsen and Nash Robbins and this year £2,020 has been raised by selling their own hand-made Christmas stockings. They are delighted and amazed with this figure which exceeds their expectations. The money will establish libraries at refugee camps in Ethiopia supported by the International Rescue Committee. Cate and Nash say ‘You will understand our pleasure at raising such a significant amount. We are deeply grateful to everyone who purchased one of our creations’. More money was raised with a scheme of giving customers a vote on a charity which received up to 10 per cent of sales. Over six months funds were raised for four different local organisations: Listening Books, West Rise School (Eastbourne), Hillcrest Centre (Newhaven) and Monso Chi Preschool, Panama. Much Ado Books will be taking a break during the early part of the year.

bodle street green

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St John’s Bodle Street: 9.30am Plough Sunday family service. Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Holy Communion. St Giles, Dallington: 6.30pm Evensong.

RACE NIGHT: The re-arranged race night is next Saturday January 19 at 7 for 7.30pm at the village hall. There will be on-course catering and quizzes. Mike Phillips is the master of ceremonies. Tickets are £10 per head from Mike on 01323 832095 or Bryan on 01323 833554. Looking ahead, the next production will be The Prisoner of Zenda by Chalkfoot Theatre Arts on February 15.


ST MARY’S CHURCH: This is the second Sunday after Epiphany. 8am Holy Communion (BCP), Kingdom against Kingdom, 10.30am Morning Service with crèche and children’s groups, Alive. 2.45pm Holy Communion is at Emmanuel Church (Hawkswood), then back to St Mary’s for Evening Prayer at 6.30pm.

CHAPTER 12: Go along on January 16 at 7.45pm for an evening entitled Greetings Pop Pickers. The rise of pop music in the fifties and sixties. How Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock ushered in the modern era of pop, and how the Beatles became the most famous and the Stones the most outrageous bands, and why today’s pop stars have such a hard act to follow.

LIONS: Christmas came early for the five winners of the Asda and Hailsham Lions recent raffle. In the run up to Christmas, members of the Hailsham Lions sold raffle tickets in Asda, and the store generously donated three major prizes including a top of the range DVD player, one of which Manager Phil Reid and Lion Mike Osborne presented to delighted winner, Jenny Miller. As always, proceeds from the raffle will be distributed within the local community. ‘Without the continued support of the public, the Lions couldn’t help others in need,’ said publicity officer and Lion Karen Spreadbury, ‘and we would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Hailsham and its environs, Asda and Phil Reid and, of course, the local press who have willingly supported us. We have more exciting fund raising plans for 2013 and very much hope everyone will join in the fun.’

HISTORICAL and Natural History Society. At the last meeting of 2012 Judith Kinnison-Bourke pulled out all the stops when she relayed to society members her quest in tracing her family tree. She started where one would normally expect to start, by asking her mother, who replied ‘why are you interested in the dead?’ With no hope here, she went to her aunt, where you had a better response. Judith spoke of her ancestors by name and explained the difficulties she encountered along the way when two of the same names cropped up, who was who, which was which? She also spoke about their occupations. The male gentry in those days were not always loyal and often maids became pregnant so, if you were a descendant of one of these maids, quite often the father was not mentioned on the birth certificate, which makes tackling the family tree very difficult. This was an interesting evening with a trip back down Judith’s family line which she delivered in an enjoyable and sometimes humorous style. Into the new year and a new programme has been compiled for the monthly meetings by speakers secretary, Barry Marlowe, and the list of topics looks as though there are some interesting subjects. Meetings take place on the second Wednesdays of the month at the Methodist Church Hall, High Street, at 7.30pm. All welcome. Members are reminded that subscriptions are now due. An increase this year had to be made and the annual subscription is now £12 and visitors pay £2.50 but there is an extra monthly meeting this year. If anyone would like more information about meetings or the society, please contact David Bourne (chairman) on (01323) 440359.

KNIT’INN NIGHTS: The jolly gatherings at The King’s Head resume after the new year with a small group getting together twice a month to share an enthusiasm for knitting and crochet. There is no maximum number, no joining fee, no payment to attend. A piece of work is brought along and techniques and pattern ideas shared for current or proposed projects. If there is to be an addition to your family this year, this is a good time to begin what could become an heirloom for future generations. For more information about the meetings phone Su (07951 631749) or The King’s Head (01323 440447), or come along at 7.30pm on the second or last Tuesday of the month.

RAMBLERS: Hailsham Ramblers meet at the Cuckoo Trail car park off South Road at 9.15am for a 9.30am start. All walkers should wear boots or stout shoes and bring something to drink. Although walking is one of the safest activities, walkers are expected to behave responsibly and to follow any advice or comply with any instructions given by the walk leaders. If you would like to join them then contact secretary, Jill Davies, on (01323) 843530. The next walk is on Wednesday January 23 and is the North East Rushlake Green circular of 5 miles with Jill and Richard (832303) or if you prefer a shorter stroll on the same day at Abbots Wood with Jill (843530) then please contact the walk leaders in the first instance to let them know you would like to come along. There are no Sunday walks planned at this time.

FARMERS’ MARKET: The next market is at the Cattle Market, Market Street tomorrow, Saturday, from 9am to 12.30pm. There will be local produce, meat, chicken, cheese, bread, vegetables. The market will be slightly smaller but the quality will still be excellent. The cafe will be open for hot drinks and food.

hellingly & horsebridge

CHURCH SERVICES: Regular Services are held at Hellingly on Thursday at 9.30am Holy Communion (BCP) and every Sunday (CW) at 8am. On Sunday Holy Communion (CW) is at 10.45am followed by Evensong at 6.30pm. The Service at Upper Dicker this Sunday is one of Family Communion at 9.15am.

DICKER NEWS: The Autumn Fair was not as well supported by the community as the committee would have liked but funds raised, though a little disappointing given the hard work put in by the organising team, still amounted to just over £124. The quiz held that same month however, in aid of Holy Trinity Church, was very well attended and raised a magnificent £477. The hall was full and there were lots of compliments for the quiz and the hot meal provided. Many thanks to those who supported this event. The Plough Inn is under new management. Howard Stevens, the new landlord, moved in last month and is looking forward to moving his family in very soon. The opening hours have changed slightly to Monday to Thursday noon to 3pm and 5pm to 11pm. Friday and Saturday noon to midnight and Sunday noon to 10.30pm. Quiz Night Tuesdays starts 8pm and a new menu will be available soon. The Dicker Residents Association welcome Howard and his family into the community and wish him well in this venture.

herstmonceux & wartling

RAY AND SHELDON: The ever popular over sixties club will be holding their first meeting of the year on Friday January 18 when Ray Waite will be on hand giving a Glimpse of Japan. They meet in the village hall from 2.15pm to 4.15pm. All over the age of 60 years are welcome to go along. Transport can be arranged by telephoning Anne on 441244.

INFORMATION CENTRE: A reminder the Village Information Centre now has the book written by Peter Sangster, their original treasurer and former resident of Herstmonceux, on sale. Peter was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 which was when he started writing his book. His wish was that proceeds from the sale of the book would be donated to the Macmillan Cancer Support. Basically the book is about his Christian beliefs and his thoughts on how he would be spending his remaining days. It is a very interesting book and gives a little insight into the personality of this very charitable and likeable man. Sadly Peter died late last year but his legacy will live on in the book and through the information centre to which he was able to make a generous donation back in 2011 enabling them to purchase the Old Forge in Gardner Street, which is where the information centre is now situated.

ALLOTMENT ASSOCIATION: Herstmonceux has a very nice collection of allotments at Stunts Green where there is a beautiful view of open countryside and orchards for you to enjoy when you feel like sitting back a little and taking a rest. They also have a vast array of interesting plot holders coming from all walks of life. If you would like more details contact George Taylor on 833059 who will arrange for you to have a visit and a chat about the site before you take the final plunge.

CHURCH SERVICES: On Sunday Holy Communion (BCP) will be held at Herstmonceux church at 8am with Holy Communion (common worship) along with Worship and Prayer being held at Wartling church at 9.45am and 11am respectively. The Friends Meeting House in West End is the venue for the Celtic Worship at 6pm.

BROADBAND: If, like me, you understand nothing about broadband, do not worry, all we are being asked at the moment is to join a campaign to bring faster and more reliable broadband to East Sussex which I am assured will be of great advantage to us. By 2015 it is hoped to upgrade 90 percent of the county to superfast broadband in both homes and businesses. Through consultation of residents and businesses in East Sussex, the telecoms market has been persuaded to have a second look at our area and with the Go e-sussex campaign in full swing, if we all sign up, it is hoped those of us with slow or no broadband at all will eventually have access to much faster speeds making life a whole lot easier. To register all you have to do is to go to or telephone 01273 335991 if you require a paper copy, complete the form and register.

NEW BOOK: It Could Have All Been So Different is the title of a new book being launched by local resident, Laurence Keeley. It’s the story of when a farmer loses the tenancy of his farm and goes through the period of when he ate pig swill, went to jail for burning waste, slept on the streets and saw life from a whole new perspective. It’s a true and moving story giving a moving first-hand account of a rapidly vanishing way of life. If you would like a copy please contact Laurence direct on 832660 or by email at

SARA LEE TRUST is a local charity providing complimentary therapies, counselling and creative therapies to people living through cancer and other serious illnesses with support for their families and carers. Their board of trustees are a group of volunteers who take overall responsibility, acting collectively to govern the organisation. They are looking for people who would be willing to give up some of their time to undertake the duties of the role including attending meetings and fund raising events. If you think you would be able to help please contact Liz Knight on 01424 456606 or email her at for an application pack.


MARKET: Laughton Village Market in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, 10am to noon. This will be our first market for 2013, weather permitting. All the usual stalls plus a raffle in aid of the village hall. Refreshments including tea, coffee and bacon rolls.

mobile library

THE LIBRARY will visit the following areas this week. Today, Friday: Wannock village hall 9am to 9.30am; Ades Field, Church Bailey, Westham 10am to 10.40am; Ades Field Wilmington 4.20pm to 4.40pm. Tuesday: Dene’s Road Alfriston 9.30am to 10.10am; Selmeston village hall 10.30am to 11.00am; Village Hall Arlington 11.15am to 11.40pm; Laughton village school 3.05pm to 3.45pm. Wednesday: Bodle Street Green 10.30am to 10.55am; Osborne Park, Rushlake Green 11.10am to 11.35am; Punnetts Town School 11.45am to 12.25pm. Thursday: Ashburnham 9.50am to 10.10am.

ninfield & hooe

EXERCISE: Is your New Year’s resolution to exercise more? Katie Fusco Health and Wellness is back for the New Year. Her classes are as follows: Chi Yoga (a beautiful fusion of the ancient practices of T’ai Chi and Yoga designed to calm, quieten and focus the mind, whilst soothing, energising and strengthening the body). Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9.30am to 10.30am and 7pm to 8pm at YouNique Wellbeing Studio, Bexhill. Girls Only Bootcamp (a high intensity training approach using fun, varied and effective exercises designed to stimulate fat loss, enhance muscle tone and build self esteem). Starting week commencing January 14, Tuesdays and Thursdays 5.30pm to 6.15pm, Saturdays 8.30am to 9.15am at Hooe Village Hall. To book a free taster session cal 07791294887 or email

HOOE OPEN GROUP will be meeting today, Friday, which will be a members’ only meeting, to agree the social programme for 2013, as well as any other business. If you are interested in joining or would like to come as a visitor, the first general meeting will be on the February 8 when Mark Sivyer, an antique expert will be giving a talk to the group. He will be pleased to appraise any items of value which members wish to bring along to the meeting. If you are interested in joining a very sociable and informal ladies group, just go along to Hooe Village Hall on the second Friday of the month, commencing at 2.30pm. For further information call the Open Group organiser Edna Wallis on 01424 842591.

FOOTBALL: Hooe Sports Football Club are playing White Knight tomorrow, Saturday, at Eastbourne Sports Park, Cross Levels Way, Eastbourne. Kick off is at 2pm.

POLICING PANEL: There will be a Policing Panel meeting in the Reading Room on January 15, at 7.30pm with guest speaker Annie Page, Community Officer from East Sussex Fire And Rescue. All are welcome to go along. Our PCSO Darrel Holter will be hosting.

QUIZ NIGHT: The local history group are holding a Quiz Night on Thursday at the Reading Room. Teams of four but obviously space is limited so be there by 7.15pm to ensure a seat. Admission £1 per member and £2 per guest. Bring your own drinks and finger food, swap and share. General topics but perhaps a local history round, so get reading. Take a look at their recently created website:

HOOE HISTORY SOCIETY are meeting on Thursday in the village hall, 7.30pm. Barbara Strevett will talk about her experiences growing up in the village. Not only should this be an interesting talk it will also revive personal memories of other residents who have lived in the village for most of their lives. Hooe History is keen to record as much living history as possible so please keep the date free and come along to the meeting. Your contributions, memories and any photographs you can produce will be most eagerly accepted. A note for your diaries: The next two meetings are on February 21 when Jim Bolter will be returning, this time talking about Medieval Churches and March 21 when they hear about wheelwrighting from Dick Carey. From April onwards they will be changing the date to the second Thursday in the month. At present the meetings clash with those of Ninfield History Group and as so many folk would like to attend both they thought a change of day appropriate. Further details from chairman Heather Sinden 01424 893422 or secretary Pam Doodes 01424 892329.

HORTICULTURE: Ninfield Horticultural Society will hold their first Monday evening event on January 21 at 7.30pm. They will welcome Chris Jenkins for his talk on the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. Hopefully he will show them sun and warmth which may be a contrast with Ninfield temperatures. Current and new members always welcome.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, St Mary’s Ninfield, 9.30am Parish Eucharist. Wednesday, 10am Holy Communion. Sunday, St Oswald’s Hooe, 11.15am Parish Eucharist. Ninfield Methodist Church, 2.30pm Worship and Praise with David Hanson.


THE COFFEE MORNING at Polegate Community Centre tomorrow, Saturday, please look at the Centre notice board or telephone 482434.

TRINITY DINERS meets at Trinity Church Hall on Friday January 18. To book a place contact Jennie on 484189.

POLEGATE PANTOMIME: Cinderella takes place at Polegate Community Centre from Saturday January 19 to January 27. Tickets can be booked at the box office at Archers and Partners Estate Agents, 48 High Street, telephone 483348 or online at

RAMBLING CLUB: On January 17, Cats, Fish and Pheasants, five miles, gently undulating farm and woodland, two slight inclines. Some lane walking, may be muddy in parts. Lunch at White Hart pub in Catsfield, with Kim and Lynn. Or Hooe’ll Come A Wartling to Barnhorne With Me, nine miles south from Wartling over the levels, flat, take picnic, with Geoff. Meet at Wannock Road Recreation Ground at 9.30am.

PCaSO Prostate Cancer Network Eastbourne Support Group. The December meeting, the last of 2012, provided an update on radiotherapy services for Eastbourne. Dr Mckinna, consultant oncologist, briefed the group on progress with the commissioning and tendering processes for the three new linear accelerators at the District General Hospital. Some delays are anticipated as there will be a need to replace some of the existing machines in Brighton beforehand. Dr Mckinna spoke of the longer term plans for radiotherapy services in the south east based on the population profile. The earliest facilities are likely to be ready in Eastbourne is 2014. Better news for the year end comprised some generous donations to the group’s fundraising initiative (see December 2012 newsletter on our website for further details) and progress on the Quiet Room facility at the District General Hospital. The latter is very much a reality and the nominated room is in the throes of being furnished. Further information to follow but please note this particular fund raising initiative is now closed. The meeting concluded with some festive eats over tea, coffee and a raffle with a selection of prizes. Please contact Graham Hatfield on 01323 749258 / 737015 or e-mail

warbleton & rushlake green

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, Warbleton Parish Church: 11am Holy Communion. St John’s Bodle Street: 9.30am Plough Sunday family service. St Giles, Dallington: 6.30pm Evensong. Wednesday sees the start of the Simply Christianity Course. This is an opportunity to investigate the eye-witness evidence about Jesus from Luke’s Gospel and ask any questions over coffee and cake. You won’t be asked to sing or pray or do anything terribly religious. It is suitable for sceptics or as refresher on the basics. There will be four sessions; 7.30pm to 9.15pm Wednesday January 16 to Wednesday February 6 at the Rectory, Rookery Lane, Rushlake Green, TN219QJ. Speak to Marc for further details. Heathfield Chapel: 11am Morning worship with Martin Povey.

HISTORY GROUP: Our speaker on Monday at 7.30pm for 8pm will be Peter Rushton with the intriguing title The Sail of the Century. We meet in the Dunn Village Hall. Coffee is served prior to the meeting, and there is an opportunity to browse our bookstall.

FLOWER AGM: The AGM of the Warbleton and District Horticultural and Poultry Society will be held on Tuesday at 7.30pm. Mulled wine and nibbles will be served, and there will be talk by Charles Harding. This is a good opportunity to renew your membership, which will give you a discount at Cade Street Nursery, Heathfield, Staverton Nursery at Halland, Lime Cross Nursery and Flowers Green Plants at Herstmonceux, in addition to the benefit of early entry to the marquee on show day. Membership is £3 per person. The quiz will be held on February 23 in the Dunn Village Hall as usual, at 7.30pm, £10 for a table of six. The proceeds this year will be split between the RNLI and the Multiple Sclerosis Society so do come along, have a good evening, show off your general knowledge and support both of these excellent charities at the same time. If you would like to book a table, telephone Isabel on 01435 830263.

PARISH COUNCIL: The council meets at 7pm on Thursday in the Dunn Village Hall. All council meetings are open to the public and parishioners can raise matters early in the evening.

POPPY APPEAL: I gather that £2008.02 was raised in Warbleton, Rushlake Green, Bodle Street Green, Punnetts Town and Three Cups. Many thanks are due to those who so generously contributed and to the collectors. Thanks also to the pubs and to The Stores for placing collecting boxes on their counters.

willingdon, wannock & jevington

THE JPK SUSSEX PROJECT: Having taken legal advice, JPK co-ordinator Jill Parker along with the trustees of the JPK Sussex Project are appealing against the refusal to grant planning permission to build a supported residential centre for people with a learning disability on the site of Edgmond Evangelical Church in Old Town. There are three options for an appeal, a written appeal, public hearing or a public enquiry. The charity has been advised to take the public hearing route in order to rebut any misinformed and misconstrued objections. Relevant documentation needed to be with the inspectorate by January 10 and a hearing statement must be submitted to the inspectorate along with any other information, including written statements of support by February 7. The charity needs your help. Please post your comments to Laura Cooke case officer, team P2, The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Bristol, BS1 6PN, and if possible send a copy of your letter to Jill Parker, 7 Wannock Avenue, Willingdon, East Sussex BN20 9RP. You will need to quote the appeal reference number which is APP/T1410/A/12/2187665/NWF on all correspondence. Alternatively comment online at . At the bottom right hand corner of the home page, click on appeal, and then search for appeal. Then search for a case which opens a form. Type the case number 2187665 into the box labelled case reference, ignore the other sections, then click on search for cases. This should bring up the charity’s appeal. Click on the blue text case reference. On the next page, scroll down to comment on this case. Click on the link, taking care not to click on the same heading but for LPA’s (local authorities). Go down to your details and follow the instructions.

FUNDING: JPK should rightly be known as The JPK Sussex Project. The charity number is 1146743. There is still a great deal of support and if you are considering making a donation by cheque, it would be helpful to make it payable using the new name and fill in a new gift aid form if appropriate. Concentus Chorale are great supporters of the charity and invariably have a voluntary retiring collection for JPK at most of their events. They are giving a post-Christmas concert at St Saviours and St Peters Church in South Street Eastbourne at 7.30pm tomorrow, Saturday. Tickets are £9 in advance from Bonners or £10 at the door on the night.

STREET MEETING: PCSO Ali Beadon will be at the junction of Downs Valley Road and Oldfield Road at 11am on Thursday. Do go along and meet her, particularly if there is anything you would like to discuss relating to her role. PCSO Beadon can also be contacted by ringing 101 extension 68233 or on her mobile 07787 685 755.

TRINITY DINERS will be meeting at noon on Friday January 18 at Trinity Church Hall. To reserve a place, please call Jennie on 01323 484189. The cost is just £5.

CAROL EVENING: If anyone was wondering who Father Christmas was at the carol evening on December 13, well it was the parish clerk Andy Beams. He was in Willingdon Library handing out presents along with the staff who were supervising games and activities. The chairman of Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council John Pritchett said more people than ever turned out to enjoy the fun and carol singing at Orchard Parade on a mild winter evening. Geoff Brains served a lamb roast with stuffing and mint sauce in rolls and Jill Parker project co-ordinator for the JPK Sussex Project held a raffle nearby. Other stallholders, including the scouts and guides, were in Trinity Church Hall.

BOXING DAY SWIM: Willingdon Athletic Football Club members went in the sea for their annual Boxing Day sponsored swim which was in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society and St Wilfrid’s Hospice, and volunteers from these two charities also took part. There were over 40 in all. Money raised will be split three ways between the two charities and the football club and it is hoped to present the cheques to the charities at one of the home matches in February. If you would like to sponsor a swimmer or the team as a whole or make a donation, it is not too late. Please contact John Shepherd on 01323 734344 or email .

GRAHAM MORRIS who is the chef at The British Queen in Willingdon raised £600 in a sponsored head shave which took place in the pub before Christmas. It was in aid of the Pevensey Cancer Unit at Eastbourne DGH. For New Year’s Day Graham had organised another sponsored event, a swim in the sea by Eastbourne Band Stand. A couple of swimmers pulled out at the last minute but the five who did take part were Graham, Rob and Angela Cain, Steve Marshall, and Dave who works at Top Gear Driving School was a last minute participant. There was a large crowd to see them plunge into the icy water. Fortunately it was a fairly mild day. The swim was in support of the Wilmington Stroke Unit at the DGH and Graham thinks that once all the money has been collected, they should have raised about £1,000. If you would like to sponsor the swimmers pop into the British Queen.

NATIVITY: St Mary’s Church was packed by 6pm on Friday December 21 for the Church Street Nativity, and there were still more people turning up outside. Fortunately it was a very mild evening. Fr Martin was the narrator of the bible story as we made our way along Church Street, and Fr Michael’s rich baritone voice certainly helped keep the crowds in tune during the carol singing. Angel Gabriel was Lesley Etwell. She is also the church secretary and how she finds time for all she does, I will never know. Mary and Joseph were Steve and Lydia McAndrew, and the two young guardian angels were Louise and Sophie Etwell. The three kings with their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh were waiting in Anji’s hairdressing salon. They were Sue Foster, and Pam and Paul Martin. Two of the ‘hosts of angels’ waiting with the shepherds in the gardens of Flint House were Rowena Brady and Babs Owen. Shepherds were Geoff and Jan Grundy with help from children Felix and Leo McAndrew. But perhaps the star performer of the evening was seven week old Verity McAndrew, representing baby Jesus. She was wrapped snuggly in the manger in the barn opposite the Wheatsheaf while all the children, and then the adults filed in to see her. She was oblivious to the noise around her and slept contentedly throughout. The innkeeper, landlord of the Wheatsheaf Martin Hughes, then served mulled wine to everyone outside the barn. I am sure he hadn’t expected so many people but as always was very generous.

LOST SPECTACLES: If you were at the Church Street Nativity and have lost your spectacles, Gilly Keef found some in her garden the following day. Her garden represented the shepherd’s fields and there was a large crowd there. You can call her on 01323 502067.

ST MARY’S CHURCH Ramblers will be meeting at 10.30am on Monday at Chalk Farm for a walk along the sea front.

PROBUS CLUB will be meeting at 10.15am for 10.30am on Thursday at the Red Lion.

BABES IN THE WOOD: Nearly all the tickets have been sold for the Willingdon Church pantomime Babes in the Wood which will be performed at Willingdon Memorial Hall on January 24, 25 and 26. Ring Lesley or Roger Etwell on 01323 504901 for availability. It has now been decided that a limited audience will be allowed to see the dress rehearsal on Wednesday January 23 at a reduced price.

THE NEW YEAR: There are so many different activities which take place in Willingdon and the surrounding area which cover all interests such as the church, women’s groups, rambling, keep fit, astronomy, art and crafts, gardening, coffee and luncheon groups and Probus, and not forgetting helping out at Polegate Windmill, which is shut until Easter but there is always maintenance work to do and new fund raising ideas to consider. Then there is St John Ambulance, and the scouts, guides and brownies. If you are new to the area and are not sure where to start, please give me a ring and I will try and help.

COMMUNITY GARDEN: In the November newsletter from Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council, there was an item that may have been overlooked by readers in their preparation for the Christmas, but I think it is worth repeating now: Willingdon and Jevington Parish Council are considering establishing a community garden in the parish. Before doing so, members of the council are keen to establish how many residents would be interested in volunteering, developing and maintaining a Community Garden. If you would like to be added to the list please contact Karen Crowhurst on 01323 489104 or email